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Enabling the Contextualization of Legal Rules in Responsive Strategies to Climate Change

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Type: Journal Article
Author: van Rijswick, Marleen; Salet, Willem
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 17
Date: 2012
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8344
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Subject(s): climate change
adaptive systems
Abstract: "The paradigm of adaptive governance is paramount in policy discourses on the mitigation and adaptation strategies of climate change. Adaptability, resilience, and cooperative approaches are promoted as the appropriate vehicles to meet the contemporary conditions of uncertainty and complexity. We claim that the legitimacy and effectiveness of these responsive strategies might be augmented via the use of legal perspectives. Rather than the instrumental use of command and control type of regulation, the legal perspectives should focus on establishing principal norms that enable the search for different solutions in different contexts. From these assumptions, the concept of legal obligation is explored as embodying the meaning of legality, and at the same time conditioning and committing the probing of different ways of purposeful action in different local circumstances. We explore the innovative potential of legal norms and demonstrate how responsive strategies to climate change can be guided by the contextualization of legal norms."

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